Saturday 30 September 2017

Anniversary Trip : Aceh

Me and N spent 5 days in Aceh, Indonesia for our anniversary trip. It is always a big ordeal since we're celebrating my birthday as well. Hahaha

We took the first flight out to Aceh at 7am (the next flight is at 1pm).
The tickets cost RM200 per person (return).

Upon arriving at the airport, our supir had waited for us.
On hindsight, I kinda regret taking on his service.

Yeah, sure it makes everything easier. But for the level of service, totally not worth it.
Aceh is not as developed and accustomed to tourist as Bali, so the supir service is still subpar.

Nonchalant, smoking supir.  😒
We paid nearly RM200 for a 6 hour service [not even for a full day] 🙏
And the attractions were not that far apart.

From then onwards, we traveled using Grab.
Cheap and efficient.

We did cover all the famous attractions.

The one that I like most was Masjid Raya Baitulrahman. Contrary to popular belief, there were more than 1 mosque that survived the 2004 Tsunami and this mosque was one of them.

Post Tsunami 2004

Excuse my robotic pose. They had giant foldable sunshades, like those at Masjid Nabawi

Clean, air conditioned, comfortable 💖

Google 'What to Eat in Aceh' and Mie Razali will definitely comes up.
Aceh is famed for its Mie Aceh (duhh) . But the most famous version is the one served by this eateries.

Basically, it's fried noodle. But I reaaaaallllly love it.
Approximately RM10.

The next morning, we took the fast ferry to Pulau Weh which cost RM25 per person.
It took 45 minutes.

[FYI, locals usually refer to Pulau Weh as Sabang]

Our transport from the port was arranged by Iboih Inn.

We were brought for a short tour around the island before we checked in. We kept stopping now and then for pictures.


Then we had this amazing dish called Ayam Tangkap. Oh my lord, it was sooo soo good!!

Now on to the accommodation at Pulau Weh.

I have shortlisted two resorts, Iboih Inn and Freddies.

They are located at different part of the island.
Freddis is at Sumur Tiga while Iboih Inn is located at .. well Iboih.

The one I circled in green is the ferry port

Freddies Sumur Tiga
Freddies offers 3 types of accommodation; Bungalow (RM100), deluxe bungalow (RM110) and family room (RM130).

Hot and cold showers, beautiful view, decently priced, restaurant with fabulous reviews, beautiful beach, very very accommodating and helpful owner, no deposit is needed

No air conditioner (can be hot), quite far from snorkeling spot, no tv

Iboih Inn
Iboih Inn offers 7 types of room, covering both deluxe and budget traveler. The price ranges from RM90 - RM200 per night. The most expensive room is waterfront room with air conditioner and hot shower. 

Near snorkeling spot (literally 1 minute boat ride away), air conditioned, decent restaurant, amazing view, hammock

Deposit is a must, no tv, a little pricier than most resorts on the island but still cheaper by our standards, no beach per say, need to ride a boat to the resort (you can hike through some hills for 20 minutes), water dispenser is only replaced every 2 days (you need to pay if you ran out earlier), limited breakfast choice

In the end, I chose Iboih Inn although the owner of Freddies was waaaaaaay more helpful. Reason being, I can't imagine staying in the heat throughout our stay there. But no regrets, our stay at Iboih Inn was great! 

Boleh terjun mandi terus at the dock. They also provide all the snorkeling gears for rent.

View from our room. Tips : Book the place in advance. Selalu penuh!!

No filter needed whatsoever

Many people came here to snorkel / dive. We engaged with Ijul, a local snorkel / dive guide for RM150. That includes pick up, guide, equipment rental and GoPro 4. He brought us to the snorkeling point, basically we just swam while he dive around as our photographer. Haha

I kid you not, the water is crystal clear!

We had sate gurita and pisang goreng.

[Image from google]
Sate gurita is sate made of octopus, but it's so tender you can't differentiate it from beef.
And the pisang goreng I tell you. I can't have enough of them 💖

While we were at Iboih Inn, we had our lunch / dinner at the restaurant. Nothing fancy, good enough for our liking.

When we were finally back in Banda Aceh, we stayed at Seventeen17 Hotel.
Amazing value!

It's a new hotel. Clean, comfortable, impeccable service. One of the best in Aceh.
I would really, really recommend this hotel.

It's 500m away from Muzium Tsunami.

That's it for my mini review  ✌

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Thursday 7 September 2017

#MakanReview : Super Saigon Pho Cafe [TTDI]

I fell in love with Banh Mi when I was in Ho Chi Minh. It doesn't look like much, I know. Basically a sandwich but my oh my, I was blown away.

So when a friend told me about this place, naturally I was sooo excited to try their version of Bahn Mi. 

Prior to visiting them, I Googled and read mixed reviews about the place. Okaaaayyyy.
Not gonna put much expectation then.

So this place is a fairly new establishment (had their soft opening end July).

Location / Traffic
TTDI is notorious for traffic congestion. Parking spots may be challenging to come by. But that's a given. 🙈 People were lining up to get inside. After a while, we noticed that the waitress actually was taking down names (reservation). Should have put a sign outside of the shop. Otherwise, people might just wait for the longest time outside. 

Rating : 2.5/5

We came at night, so it make sense that some of the menu were sold out [I hope it's actually sold out instead of not available]. 

As you might have noticed, the pricing is a bit on the high side for a bowl of noodle soup 🙊 [But of course, you'll pay hundreds to eat a bowl of noodle at a Michelin starred restaurant; just saying]

We ordered the Special Beef Combination Pho, Sliced Beef and Tendon Pho and Ice Vietnamese Milk Coffee. 

Frankly speaking, the Vietnamese coffee was not my favorite. I had better coffee at the road side in Ho Chi Minh but what would I know, I'm not an avid coffee drinker.

Pho - the serving was generous, but I would say the actual noodles were not enough for me. Maybe because I'm a big eater. The broth were delicious, together with all the condiments provided on the table. Australian beef slices were used. I don't know if RM20+ a bowl would justify.

They said this is Melbourne style Pho. What does that mean? 
It's like saying Malaysian style Tom Yum. 😔

They ran out of Banh Mi. *sigh*

Rating : 3.5/5

Very nice decoration I would say. Instagrammable!

It can be a bit crowded though. We saw a couple having difficulties having strollers and toddlers with them.

Rating : 4.5/5

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